Blackhawks start fast, hold off Leafs for 5-4 win, 4th is a row

The improving Blackhawks are headed in the right direction, although their latest win was a wild ride.

Brendan Perlini had a goal and two assists, and visiting Chicagoheld off a Toronto comeback to beat the Maple Leafs 5-4 on Wednesday night.

Brandon Saad had a goal and an assist, and Duncan Keith, Dominik Kahun and Alex DeBrincat also scored as Chicago jumped to a 5-0 lead before holding off the Leafs.. Dylan Strome added two assists for the Blackhawks, who have won four straight and crept within four points back of Arizona for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Chicago led 5-1 after two periods, but then gave up 29 shots in the third.

“We can be really happy with the first and second and be not happy with the third” period, Chicago head coach Jeremy Colliton said.

Corey Crawford stopped 17 of 18 shots through two periods before leaving the game ill. Colin Delia had 26 saves during the onslaught in the third.

Before this win streak, the Blackhawks had lost four of five. However, the trend has been positive lately in a streaky season as they won for 15th time in 21 games.

“I just think as we go here, we’re getting more comfortable with how we have to play to win,” said Colliton, who replaced the fired Joel Quenneville on Nov. 6 with Chicago 6-6-3.

Auston Matthews, Morgan Rielly and Andreas Johnsson each had a goal and an assist for Toronto, and John Tavares also scored. William Nylander and Mitch Marner each had two assists. Frederik Andersen gave up four goals on 14 shots in the first before he was replaced by Garret Sparks, who finished with 24 saves.

Devils 6, Oilers 3: Kenny Agostino, Damon Severson and Kevin Rooney each had a goal and an assist as New Jersey beat host Edmonton to snap a season-high seven-game losing streak. Travis Zajac, John Quenneville and Blake Coleman also scored for the Devils, and Cory Schneider stopped 36 shots. Sam Gagner, Alex Chiasson and Matt Benning had goals for the Oilers, who have lost two of their past three games.

Canucks 4, Rangers 1: Tyler Motte scored two goals 11 seconds apart midway through the second period, leading host Vancouver over New York. Brock Boeser and Jake Virtanen also scored for the Canucks. Pavel Buchnevich had a power-play goal for the Rangers. New York became the first team this season to lose two players to misconducts in a game after forwards Chris Kreider and Brendan Lemieux were ejected in the second period.

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